What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

Just lucked into a few minutes of phone time with Sam Waller down at Jot’s Resort on the Rogue.

“Been out fishing … I don’t know how many days in a row,” said the guide and lodge owner before running off to get his truck’s muffler fixed.

And that’s how it is with fishing across Oregon — so much to do that all those other chores become, well, chores.

Here’s the latest fishing news, courtesy of ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Bass fishing has been good throughout the mainstem and South Umpqua River.
  • Fall chinook are being caught in the lower Umpqua.
  • Largemouth bass fishing has been very good on Hyatt Lake.
  • Anglers are catching limits of trout on Lost Creek Reservoir.
  • Summer steelhead and half-pounder fishing has been picking up on the lower Rogue River.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Late summer is a good time to target bass and panfish on the Willamette River.
  • Summer steelhead and spring chinook have moved into the North Santiam River around Stayton.
  • Good catches of kokanee have been reported recently on Green Peter Reservoir.
  • Summer steelhead are in the Willamette River town run between Springfield and Eugene.
  • Trout stocking of most local valley lakes and ponds has come to an end for the summer due to warm water conditions. Lower and mid-elevation Cascade lakes are still being stocked and provide a good opportunity for trout fishing.
  • August is a good time to target largemouth bass in Fern Ridge Reservoir.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Trout fishing on Campbell Reservoir has been excellent. Also check out nearby Deadhorse Lake to make a day of it.
  • Brown and rainbow trout fishing has been fair to good on the Lower Owyhee River.
  • There’s also been good trout fishing at Twin Lake (Halfway) and Fish Lake (Steens Mountain).

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Trout fishing, both rainbow and brook, has been good on La Grande Reservoir.
  • Trout Farm Pond is stream-fed and trout fishing remains good during the warm summer months. It was two weeks ago.
  • Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good on the John Day River.

BROWNLEE ZONE

  • Crappie spawning has slowed but good fishing is available. Fish very early morning or late evening. The fish are deep in the middle of the day (25-70 feet) and the bite is very light. Use 4 lbs. test and an ultra light rod. Use jigs with a crappie nibble (chartruese or red and whites have been good lately). Night fishing with lights is producing good catches. Bass are biting but are fairly small. Some large catfish are being caught using cutbait, worms or stink bait. Trolling for trout is fair. The reservoir is full. Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their Web site under the “Rivers and Recreation” heading.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Walleye fishing is good in the Troutdale area.
  • Steelhead angling has been good, especially for anglers fishing in the gorge.
  • Fall chinook season opened Sunday August 1 from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam.
  • Sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Marker 82 in the Gorge from Sunday August 1 through Thursday September 30.  Sturgeon angling is prohibited between Marker 82 and Bonneville Dam to protect spawning sturgeon.

MARINE ZONE

  • Tuna have moved closer inshore and are between 20 and 30 miles off the central coast. Catches average about five fish per angler and the average size of the tuna is up over last year.

A FRIEND OF NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN READER JASON HARRIS HOLDS ONE OF 17 ALBIES THEY LANDED OUT OF DEPOE BAY AUG. 7. “CEDAR PLUGS WERE THE HOT TICKET FOR THE DAY, ALONG WITH A FEW LANDED ON SHAD-PATTERN SWIMBAITS,” REPORTS HARRIS. “THE HIGHLIGHT WAS HAVING FOUR ON AT ONCE AND LANDING ALL FOUR! SOOOOOOOOO MUCH BLOOD! ONE FISH (MINE) WENT 18 POUNDS AND THE REST WERE ALL BETWEEN 26 AND 33 POUNDS. THE GRADE AND QUALITY OF MEAT WAS THE BEST ANYONE HAS SEEN THIS YEAR.” (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

  • Salmon fishing is improving off the Columbia River with better than two out of 10 anglers getting chinook and eight out of 10 landing a coho. Anglers fishing Cape Falcon to the Oregon/Washington border are now allowed to keep up to two chinook salmon in the bag limit. Daily bag limit is now two salmon per day, and all retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
  • Off the central coast coho catches were about three for every 10 anglers while chinook were more rare – less than one for every 10 anglers. Only marked coho (all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip) may be retained. That season will run through Sept. 6 or until the quota of 26,000 marked coho is met, which ever comes first. The bag limit is two salmon.
  • Lots of fishers turned out for an all-depth halibut opening last weekend and were successful. While not all the numbers are in yet, fishery managers suspect the remaining quota was taken and there will not be another all-depth opening this year. A final decision will be made later this week.
  • Even with the fishery moved in to the 20-fathom line, most anglers reported limits or near limits of rockfish. Only about one in five anglers caught lingcod.
  • This time of year crabbers may also catch “soft” crab that have recently molted. You can determine this by pinching the second joint of the claw, if it doesn’t feel rock hard, the crab has most likely just molted. While “soft” crab are still OK to eat, the meat may be watery and of poor quality.
  • Crabbing is improving, but the number of crabbers is also increasing. Most crabbers had average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.
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